Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, a division of Health Care Service Corporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve Company, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois traces its roots to the depths of the Great Depression and a group of Chicago business leaders who witnessed how relatively minor illnesses that required a hospital stay were ruining families financially. In 1936, they pooled their own savings and launched a not-for-profit company called Hospital Service Corporation to offer an affordable pre-paid hospital plan, which was a new concept at that time. The Chicago Plan, as it was called, was one the forerunners of what we know as health insurance today.
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